My son was supposely given a citation for underage drinking on May 10, 2006. He was 18 at the time and lived with me. We Never heard anything since-either by mail or telephone about this. On June 30, 2012 a constable came to our door and wa going to arrest my son for this underage drinking summory citation. The constable preceeds to tell me that paperwork as far back as 2005 was "messed up"- a computer just caught all the errors and now this magistrates office is pursuing all the people involved. The magistrates office has threatened my son with a $475.00 fine, ARD classes and they say they still have witnessess that will testify to his guilt. My son pleaded not guilty, paid a $100.00 retainer and has a hearing schedulted July 12, 2012. Is there not a statuture of limitation for this??
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Pennsylvania
trying to look this up on the internet
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.
Underage drinking in PA is considered a summary offense. A summary offense does have a 30 day Statute of Limitations, in which the defendant needs to be charged. If he was issued a citation but charges were never filed by the State, he could have a legal defense to it. Moreover, if this happened over 6 years ago, it is unlikely that they would have a witness present, who could testify and remember the event. As such, your son certainly wants to retain an attorney who can look over the facts of the case and see if 1) it can be dismissed or 2) if not, if the officer who issued the citation and witnessed this, can independently recollect the night in question, to be able to testify.
Pleaselet me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on somethingwhich I stated above, prior to rating me. Please remember toonly rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. IF you feel the need to clickeither of the two faces/stars on the left, please STOP and reply to me via the" REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION " button. Iwant to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possibleand that you are satisfied with the help I provided. If you have nothing further, please rate myanswer with 3, 4 or 5 faces/stars, so I can get credit for my help - I hope youfound it to be Excellent!
If there is a 30 day statute of limitation--why do I need to retain an attorney? The magistrates office cannot proceed with this legally?
The Statue of Limitations does not prevent it from being filed. It is a defense that can be raised by the defendant. As such, if your son does not want to retain an attorney and wants to represent himself, he can file and argue the motion himself, before the court. The decision is up to him and if he is comfortable handling the situation.
if we decide to defend ourselves what is the pa law that we are referring to--I need the information . I looked up---Statute of limitation on summary offenss issued under the crime code title 18 is 2 yrs.
Also tit 42-pa cons stat 5552 states prosecution must be commenced within a 2 yrs after the summary is committed. Is this correct and can you add any value information for a defense
It should be filed as a summary offense. If it is filed as a Misdemeanor, then it would be 2 years. Notwithstanding, this happened 6 years ago, so it would clearly be out of the time in which the State has to charge him.
you did not answer my question---are these correct---Statute of limitation on summary offenss issued under the crime code title 18 is 2 yrs. Also tit 42-pa cons stat 5552 states prosecution must be commenced within a 2 yrs after the summary is committed. Is this correct and can you add any value information for a defense
Sorry for the delay. Underage drinking is considered a summary offense. It is less then a felony and misdemeanor. However, the State can bring it based upon the statue, within 2 years, since the 30 days as applied in 5552, applies to summary offenses involving motor vehicle. As far as a defense, a defendant will want to reference the date of the citation/arrest, time in which the case was filed and cite the code which controls and states prosecution must take place, within the 2 year period of time. Moreover, as a defense, the defendant can take the case to trial and see if the officer can identify the defendant ( being 6 years later) and if they actually remember what happened. It is likely that they have issued hundreds of underage drinking citations and dealt with hundred of kids during that time, so it would be hard for the officer to remember something that happened so long ago.
Legal. Real Estate Law. Criminal Law. Family Law. Traffic.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).